x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Our first-ever alternative Oscars: the Other Oscars

The Academy Awards will be handed out to hopefuls from big Hollywood films including Les Miserables and Argo. Then are the moments and films that don't exactly make the list. We like to call them, The Other Oscars.

The Bourne Legacy's epically long motorbike chase through Manila. Courtesy Universal Pictures
The Bourne Legacy's epically long motorbike chase through Manila. Courtesy Universal Pictures

The Academy Awards will be handed out to hopefuls from big Hollywood films including Les Miserables and Argo. Then are the moments and films that don't exactly make the list. We like to call them, The Other Oscars.

Best "Hey, it's That Guy from Breaking Bad" moment:

Lincoln

It seems as though David Costabile was just the other day breaking our hearts as the sweet but ill-fated vegan meth cook Gale Boetticher, but there he was on the big screen, amid all the fake beards, portraying the Republican representative James Ashley.

Best Censored Household Ornament:

Django Unchained

All the blood and swearing in Django Unchained seemed to pass the censors largely untouched. But Tarantino's slavery slapstick did feature one major piece of eye-catching regional editing. During the pivotal dining room scene in DiCaprio's estate, the statue by the wall was covered by a gigantic blob. Your guess is as good as ours, but we reckon it involved some sort of illicit cuddling.

Most Predictable Ending in a Film about a Boy Sprouting Greenery:

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

A boy is born of the Earth from the buried hopes of his desperate parents and proceeds to capture the hearts of an entire town without raising any suspicion about his origins. When his leaves turn gold and start to fall off, it can only mean one thing: why in the world did you pick this film when the airline had so many others to offer?

Best Title That Says it All: Man on a Ledge

Most Impressive Medical Recovery Time:

Noomi Rapace in Prometheus

The School Years was never going to be scientifically coherent, but there was a moment that stood out even above the premise that life on Earth began when a big dude fell in a waterfall. Needing to rid herself of the wriggly beast growing inside her, Noomi Rapace jumps into a fancy futuristic hospital bed for an emergency Caesarean performed by an updated version of the claw from a fairground grab-a-cuddly-toy machine. Minutes later, with the thing removed and her scar stapled shut, she's off running away from giant rolling spaceships with only the odd pained grimace to show for it.

Best Product Placement about Shawarmas:

The Avengers

Anyone who stuck around after the credits of The Avengers would have noticed an inspired piece of advertising rumoured to have cost the Shawarma Marketing Association millions. Having saved New York from devastation, the entire Avengers ensemble is seen in a restaurant munching on pitas. The stunt worked and shawarmas quickly became the most-talked about food across the US, with one joint in Los Angeles claiming that sales had increased by 80 per cent over the film's opening weekend. This year, look out for Captain Kirk ordering some baba ghanoush in the USS Enterprise canteen.

Most Hilarious Buddy Banter Amid a Terribly Sad and Violent film: End of Watch

Most Implausible Street Race:

The Bourne Legacy

Jeremy Renner's stint in Matt Damon's scuffed boots as a memory-befuddled supersoldier didn't really live up to the last three, largely because the second half of the film consisted of one epically long motorbike chase through Manila. Just one minor issue - anyone who has been to Manila will know that the city is basically one large traffic jam that even a scooter would struggle to navigate at anything above 10kph.

Best Example Why Judd Apatow Should Just Stop For a Bit:

The Five-Year Engagement

By the end of this agonisingly long "comedy" that was about as funny as renewing your car insurance, you didn't really care if Jason Segel and Emily Blunt got married, drove off a cliff or transformed into reptilian overlords who enslaved the human race for all eternity. We'd like Apatow to turn his hand to horror, or action, or just anything where he can't wheel out the same "wacky" characters with personality disorders for chuckles.

The Daniel Radcliffe Award For Featuring a Steam Train in Every Film: Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman in Black

Best Attempts to Stay Close to Family / Hire Spouse in Lead Role:

Len Wiseman

Len Wiseman was involved in two films that came out last year. Coincidentally, so was Kate Beckinsale. In another bizarre twist of fortune, both films were the same. You're not going to believe this, but Len and Kate are actually husband and wife! Granted, Beckinsale has always fronted the increasingly dreary Underworld so was probably already locked in for Awakening (no, we didn't bother either). But who would have expected, when the Lenster was lining up his cast for the entirely pointless remake of Total Recall, that Kate would pop up in a major role? Extraordinary.

Most Inefficient Use of Vast Power:

Javier Bardem in Skyfall

When we were first introduced to Javier Bardem's Silva, he was an impressive Bond baddy to behold, boasting a terrifyingly rubbish hairdo, his own private island with live-in mercenaries and enough computery techno-whizz to have the entire internet in his sweaty palm. But what were his evil intentions? World power? Untold riches? Sharks with laser beams? Nope. Despite such incalculable megalomaniacal possibilities before him, it seemed Silva's only real desire was to shoot an old woman (Judi Dench) in the face, something he didn't manage because Ralph Fiennes jumped in the way at the last minute. Best 007 ever? Really?

Most Celebrated Series of Scenes Essentially about Lengthy Board Meetings: Lincoln

The Waterworld Award for Least Impressive Accounting: John Carter

Worst Plot Spoiler: Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty